At the beginning of June 2010, the Australian based Institute for Economics & Peace released their Global Peace Index. This was the fourth edition of the report, and for the fourth year in a row Iraq was ranked the least peaceful country in the world.
Institute for Economics & Peace Top 5/Bottom 5
1. New Zealand
The Institute, working with the Economist Intelligence Unit went through 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators for 149 countries that compared domestic and international conflict, safety, security, human rights, and military spending. The qualitative indicators were scored 1-5, while the quantitative categories were ranked 1-10 with one being the best, and the highest number the worst. The average score for all the nations was 2.02 out of 5. Iraq was at the bottom with 3.406, followed by Somalia, Afghanistan, and Sudan. At the top of the list were Japan, Iceland, and New Zealand, which had the best rating of 1.188. In the Middle East/North Africa region, Qatar was number one with a score of 1.394, followed by Oman, and Tunisia. At the bottom before Iraq were Lebanon and Israel.
Ranking & Scores Of Middle East/North African Countries
United Arab Emirates 1.739
Saudi Arabia 2.216
Iraq received the worst score because of the continued political and social conflict in the country. Despite security improving in 2009 and the holding of provincial elections at the beginning of that year, there were still 4,645 Iraqis killed according to Iraq Body Count. In comparison, the Brookings Institution recorded 2,259 Afghans that died that year. The country also had a high number of displaced and refugees, which have not returned home. Military expenditures also increased last year because Iraqi forces were asked to do more with the U.S. beginning to withdraw. The growth of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s power was given mixed reviews because while he provided leadership, he also led to internal problems with other parties and the Kurds. Overall, the Institute thought that while 2009 was an improvement over previous years, the continued tensions and violence within Iraq justified putting it at the bottom of its list.
Institute for Economics & Peace, “Global Peace Index,” 6/9/10
Iraq Body Count
Livingston, Ian, Messera, Heather, and O’Hanlon, Michael, “Afghanistan Index,” Brookings Institution, 5/28/10
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